KTH Innovation's pre-incubator program, 14.55, Friday August 24th
The KTH Innovation office is teeming with activity. One team is busy writing a press-release, another is holding a meeting with a potential investor, and a third is in the middle of demoing their product for a client. In the kitchen, some are having coffee while discussing business models, and in the corridor others engage in a game of ping-pong. Welcome to the pre-incubator program at KTH Innovation!
Despite a record-warm summer where most people have chosen to spend all waking hours on the beach, the KTH Innovation office has been busy. This is where the teams in the KTH Innovation pre-incubator program work on developing their startups, and when it comes to starting their own company, these ambitious entrepreneurs don’t let any time go to waste.
The first steps
The KTH Innovation pre-incubator program is targeted toward early-stage startups that have taken one or two steps along the line of their development, but haven’t necessarily come much further than that. If you want to put some extra focus on your idea, and have started developing the technology, the pre-incubator program is perfect to help you accelerate your development.
In the earliest stages, a lot of effort is put on determining how to develop your idea, and to start collecting all the pieces you need to form a functioning company. The teams focus on things like building their teams, developing their first prototype, conducting some initial market research, and starting to formulate a potential business model.
The importance of knowing where to meet
Over 130 startups have so far gone through the program, which includes one year of extra business development coaching, participation in weekly workshops to develop their startups and themselves as entrepreneurs, and also access to office space together with the other teams in the program.
Apart from their fellow participants in the program, the startups share the office with the KTH Innovation staff, which makes it easy to get answers to questions about contracts, a comment on a press-release, or have a quick chat with your business development coach.
Although access to office space may sound simple, it is actually often a determining factor in a startup’s success. Knowing where to meet up, having somewhere to hold a meeting, and being able to exchange experience with others in the same situation makes every-day startup life simpler.
- Having a physical place to focus fully on working on your startup can really boost the development, says Nicole Forsberg, Program and Community Manager at KTH Innovation. For KTH researchers this can be especially important, as it makes it easier to distinguish between their research at KTH and their individual commercialization project.
Avoid making the same mistakes
A common mistake in the early development phase is to spend too much time perfecting your idea on your own, only to realize that your solution is far from what the customers actually want and need. Sharing an office with others who are going through the same process serves is both inspirational and can serve as a buffer toward making the same mistake someone has already made.
In July, the KTH Campus is pretty much empty, but at the KTH Innovation office, several companies have kept on working throughout the summer. One of them is asqill, from Batch 5 of the KTH Innovation pre-incubator program. asqill is a KTH startup aiming to help students raise their competence and land better jobs after graduation.
- The accessibility and convenient location of KTH Innovation has been a key factor for me to be able to realize my visions while studying, says Filip Hildebrandt, CEO of asqill. If you are considering applying to the KTH Innovation pre-incubator program, there are no arguments against it. It’s a learning environment filled with fun and inspirational people.
When asked what it’s been like in the office over the summer, Filip replies with one single word: